Carmel finishes annexation of Southwest Clay

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There's now a bit more to the Indiana city of Carmel.

The community about 10 miles north of Indianapolis grew by 8.3 square miles and 8,000 people Tuesday with the long-planned annexation of Southwest Clay. Carmel now has about 85,000 people.

In 2007, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that Carmel could annex the area under a 2005 agreement with a community group.

Southwest Clay property owners won't pay full taxes until 2015. Carmel promises up to $40 million in road improvements.

Carmel spokeswoman Nancy Heck old The Indianapolis Star that police service will be phased in this week, with Carmel police fully taking over Friday from the Hamilton County sheriff.

Carmel's fire department already serves the area.

The population increase will make the Indianapolis suburb the state's sixth-largest city, ahead of Hammond, which has nearly 77,000 people. Gary is the next largest with an estimated 96,000 residents.

Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard says his goal is to make what is Indiana's most-affluent community a place that's competitive with cities around the world. It has grown from about 25,000 residents 20 years ago.

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